I had two great musical experiences this weekend, of very different varieties.  The first was the Good Earth Cafe’s Open Mic on Friday night.  My friend and colleague Julie was hosting, and the offerings of the evening were bold and brave, including a father-son team (the son was 9 maybe?), a rockin’ ukulele rendition of “Pompeii” by a nine-year-old dynamo – she was sitting down and from the front all we could see was her ukulele below the music stand and the pom-pom from her hat above it – and two songs well done on the piano/vocals by a thirteen year old emerging artist.

Just before we had to leave, we got a teaser from Justin Hill, born and raised in Canmore.  Justin has been away for the last few years and has recently moved back.  All I’m saying is that if you get a chance to see him (and chances will come up), GO.  His sister, Mari Rose is also a talented singer-songwriter (and a friend) and she and I got talking.  Mari told me that she has recently written a song inspired by my song “Waiting For The Thaw”.  I feel honoured that she took something that was created from my own life and heart, and has grown something of her own from it.  I can’t wait to hear it.

In this way we do borrow from and influence each other, not just in song-writing but in life.  I had no idea that my song had touched Mari in a tangible way, neither do any of us know what effect an action or a word might have in someone’s day or life.

The other music experience of my weekend was Saturday night at ArtsPlace.  We went to see the Redline Trio, with Steve Hudson.  I love live jazz – the interplay and communication between the players and the way they are SO dialed into one another is such fun to watch and experience.  I could go on about this because there are so many metaphors for life here, but perhaps another day.

The sax player for Redline, Mark DeJong, is also a colleague of mine, and he was on the trip to Cuba that the Valley Winds Music Association took last year.  On our final night in Havana, we walked along the sea wall – the Malecon – with a few of our friends and stayed up way too late.  It was a wonderful memory of that trip that I will always have.  I came home and wrote a song about that night by the sea, and so did Mark.  Saturday night was the first time I’d heard his “Malecon” – it is a fantastic composition and 100% different from my folk-singer-songwriter creation.  The same experience gave us both material that we went on to express in very different ways.

So today, on a beautiful snowy blue-sky Monday, I am encouraged by connections with the people around me and how music links us in different ways.  And that’s what I have to say about that.

Shine on, friends.

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